Why are Leading Ladies of Bollywood investing in Start-ups?

From Aishwarya Rai to Priyanka Chopra, Bollywood divas are signing big cheques for start-ups.


Bollywood actresses have donned the role of an investor in the Indian start up ecosystem, going beyond endorsements. While many of them are strategic investments where the actors pick up an equity stake in the company in exchange for promotions, marketing and PR, there are also many who are betting on start-ups purely as an investment exercise.

The high-risk return equation in case of start-up investment is no more deterring celebrities from investing in this space. From Aishwarya Rai to Priyanka Chopra, Bollywood divas are signing big cheques for start ups.

A Financial Cushioning & Brand Association

This is a well-known fact that Bollywood actresses have short-lived but lucrative careers, which requires them to make smart investment choices. Most of them work with dedicated wealth managers and rely on their business acumen and experience to make a go of it. Start-ups as a space have been blooming over the past decade with celebrities continuously associating themselves with the same in some way or the other.

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Celebrities are aware of start-ups growing brand equity and becoming an investor seems like a logical step and not a blind bet.

Don’t Want To Be Just The ‘Face’

Mallika Arora had joined global stars like Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez to invest in an Indian yoga fitness chain startup, Sarva. The investment made sense for Arora, a fitness icon, as she wanted to associate herself, beyond endorsements, with things she’s passionate about. She was presented the opportunity and took no time to grab it. Similarly, Deepika Padukone, who has been promoting nutrition and health-consciousness among youth, placed her bets on Drums Food International Pvt. Ltd, which sells yogurt under the brand Epigamia.

Investing in a start-up today is seen as a way of encouraging visionary minds and being closely associated with developing business. Start-ups investments are allowing leading actresses to be more than just the face of a certain brand. “What I look for is companies/brands that are clutter-breaking and, more importantly, the ones that are going to add value to the development of our country. We have so much talent today that I feel proud to see some of the home-grown startups. What I look for is investing in that kind of vision,” Padukone had said during the announcement.

Not A Blind Bet

Both Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt had decided to become partners in beauty retailer Nykaa, which recorded a revenue of Rs 1,860 Cr in 2020 and growing at an unprecedented rate. Both the Bollywood divas were aware of the company’s growing brand equity and becoming an investor seemed like a logical step and not a blind beauty bet.

Shilpa Shetty, who is a seasoned entrepreneur, wellness ambassador, an experienced mother, invested around 1.6 crores in FMCG start-up MamaEarth. The actress had a personal involvement with the products and decided to be a part of the business. For female celebrities, the idea is to “add some kind of value”. Start-ups are proving to be an exciting space for every kind of investor. The
innovations, products, offerings and ideas are reaping sound results in the start-up ecosystem and everyone wants a share of the same. 

Like everyone else, actresses, too, want to secure their future. That way, they are no different than any common person.

Naina Sood
Naina Sood
Naina was former staff at Dutch Uncles, she writes on business-life-cycle, funding, small businesses and start-ups.

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